Explore the World of Handmade
Aid to Artisans’ Training for Entrepreneurs in Artisan Markets (TEAM) brings more than 20 first-time and returning exhibitors to the Pavilions at Las Vegas Market. Participating vendors come from South and Central America, Asia, the Caribbean and Africa. Learn more about each of these socially-conscious companies and get an inside look at their products.
The Red Sari
The Red Sari is a socially responsible fashion design company with a mission to create and sustain jobs for women in Nepal. For the women in this small South Asian country, jobs represent more than income – working liberates them from lives of isolation, builds confidence, and bestows status within their families and communities.
Peruland All Natural
Our producer organization was born as a dream to be able to sell our products directly abroad and without using intermediaries. It was founded in 2006 under the name APTEC PERU and was made up of only six artisans producing different Peruvian Handicraft lines and then continued with the creation of our textile line of handmade garments and accessories made of natural fiber. In 2007, we became members of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) which means a great opportunity for our organization as all our customers feel identified with it and seek to establish sustainable business relations over time.
After tough years of learning, and after participating in Aid to Artisans’ Market Readiness Program, we are proud to say that today our organization exports Peruvian handicrafts and textiles to Holland, Japan, Hong Kong, the United States, Canada and Australia. Our family grew and today we are more than 100 artisans in the Craft Line and more than 50 weavers in the Textile Line. We remain committed, with much energy and love for what we do to consolidate our growth as the most valued and respected Peruvian Fair Trade Organization.
The Sammy brand links the artisan skills of one of Africa’s most ancient civilizations with American and European fashion know-how. The result: unique contemporary treasures, made in and out of Addis Ababa, that have already gathered fans from New York to Tokyo.
The Sammy line was launched in the Ethiopian capital in 2006. Founders were astonished to discover a wealth of craft skills, all but lost to the West, which could be applied to a style-forward range of fashion and home accessories.
What sets the Sammy line apart is sophisticated style. Featherweight scarves are hand-woven using skills known in Ethiopia for thousands of years. Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest leather producers; know particularly for supple lamb nappa and also for hand-dyeing. Sammy bags and small leather goods are made by local craftsman and incorporate such artisanal skills as hand-printed cotton linings, traditional bead embellishments and embroidery yet are designed to suite current global clienteles. In addition, the company has extensive home decor line of basketry and pottery that are made by women craft masters.
Sammy is self-sufficient, ethical business employing both leading local artisans and those with entry-level skills. All those working for Sammy receive a fair wage, are ensured safe working conditions. Collaborating with community organizations and cooperatives creating employment to some of the world’s most marginalized people.
Savanna Baskets is a social enterprise that works directly with rural women co-operatives in the production and sale of handmade baskets in Ghana. Our mission is to deliver quality baskets to our customers on timely basis, empower our rural artisans with sustainable income, and make a difference in their lives no matter how big or small. The Company envisions an economically empowered, independent weavers’ co-operative, who will be able to earn sustainable income within the next ten years.
We seek to provide the best working conditions for our employees and producers to deliver products which meet the full expectations of its customers, generate sustainable income to the weavers without compromising on safe environmental practices. The baskets are made from a tropical grass called ‘vetiver grass’. The basket is one hundred percent natural product which is environmentally friendly as it decomposes easily and regenerates soil fertility. The basket is woven from dry straw that has been split into two and twisted into short ropes. A finished basket is completely flexible and can be folded into a suitcase and reshaped by immersing it in water and straightened to the original shape. This flexibility makes it possible for the baskets to be packed as many as 35 pieces in poly sacks without damaging them. The weavers are mostly women who sell the baskets as a major source of income to support their families and children. Weaving takes place in the individual households of the weavers, though they occasionally meet at a common place to discuss matters relating to their weaving activities.
Aid to Artisans Mexico (Manos Vivas Collection)
After working in several Mexican states, including Puebla, Tlxacala and Chiapas, Aid to Artisans is expanding into the Yucatán Peninsula. Along with the opening a new office in Merida, ATA’s new three-year project, Manos Vivas (MV), works with 1500 artisans in the Yucatán Peninsula and in the Highlands of Chiapas. Manos Vivas aims to “empower people by providing them with opportunities and skills to help themselves.” Since handcraft is one of Mexico’s greatest resources, helping artisans transform their crafts into viable businesses can positively effect families and entire communities. A brand new line of gift accessories and home décor line woven and embroidered in textile will be presented this summer.
Carlos and Cynthia, both born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, are brother and sister who started their own line of handmade contemporary jewelry Brand Azure 14 years ago. Azure’s jewelry designs and signature collections are an integration of their own experiences and beliefs: inspiration from the root they both grew up with and deeply loved, the beautiful nature that always touched their heart, as well as from the places and countries they visited and the diversity of cultures and people they encountered. Their experience also influenced them in the decisions they made and how they run their business, from the use of metals to the close relationship with the artisans and suppliers.
Their jewelries are designed for both men and women because they believe a piece of beautiful jewelry is for everyone. Azure jewelry is now available in the boutiques, galleries and museums in seven countries.
Dancing Yak Handicrafts
As part of Aid to Artisans projects, Dancing Yak Handicrafts (DYH) is a training center for Tibetan women and produce handicrafts mainly made of yak wool, sheep wool, sheep wool felt and the beautiful Tibetan brocade fabrics. DYH combines the cultural Tibetan Handicraft with modern designs of high quality. DYH is based in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in West China. DYH started in 2011 with the first Tibetan woman going through the program successfully. The number of women can be taken into the program for training and employment is depending on how much income is available, either through sales or by donations. The need is great. We are still small but have a big vision for the future.
As of part of Aid to Artisans projects, ATA has been working with artisans to bring the handmade products of Lesotho to the U.S. Retail Market. The product designed focus on Fashion Accessories made in wool and mohair and a wide range of baskets made of natural fibers. These products are represented by the project export agents Ethnic Design and Handmade in Lesotho whom have been trained and mentored by Aid to Artisans since 2018.